CHERRIES player Steve Cook has been accused of sexual assault by a “woman who will resort to saying anything”, his defence counsel told the Old Bailey yesterday.
Cook, 21, is on trial for sexual assault and voyeurism alongside three former teammates from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Cook, George Barker, 21, Anton Rodgers, 20, and Lewis Dunk, 21, are accused of committing the offences at Jurys Inn hotel in Stroudley Road, Brighton, early on Sunday, July 17, 2011.
They all deny the charges.
Sonia Woodley QC, defending Cook, told the Old Bailey: “This is a girl who will resort to saying anything to suit the situation she finds herself in.”
She said Rodgers may have said Cook was involved because he had a grudge against him for describing Rodgers's behaviour to the police.
Police found a picture on Barker's phone showing him posing with a 'thumbs-up' sign, with his initials sprayed onto the alleged victim's leg in shaving foam.
Anton Rodgers has admitted exposing himself while the men were in the hotel room with the woman.
She claims she saw other mobile phone photographs showing her being sexually assaulted while asleep.
Each of the defence barristers told the jury yesterday that the complainant’s evidence was unreliable because she had told other lies.
Peter Lodder QC, defending Anton Rodgers, said that she had “a tendency to fib” and suggested that she may have gone to the police for a second time because she had not been able to start a happy relationship with any footballers from the club.
Judge Charles Wide told jurors that he would sum up the case this morning before they retire to consider their verdicts.
Telling them to make a “cool, dispassionate analysis of the evidence”, he said they should forget any sympathy, disgust, or consideration of the consequences for the defendants or the alleged victim when they considered their verdicts.
The case continues.